Tom Usher wrote or added | On Arizona, the main mundane, legal issue remains "reasonable suspicion." The line in the AZ Statue is way to fuzzy, subject to wild abuse. The spiritual issue runs to who has ruined Mexico and why? The drug cartels there are a symptom of the bad-neighbor policy by the US.
As for crack versus powder cocaine, the real focus should be on why people take it in either form. What's wrong with their lives, and how can the problems be fixed? The original rationale for the difference in sentencing was price and addictiveness, but it was surely also race.
About campaign-finance reform, one person's "democracy" is another's tyranny. The rich and superrich have more voice on account of what money will buy. They have more say, and hence their "vote" is really not limited to what they do in the booth on election day (supposing that election fraud of the kind George W. Bush pulled in both of his Presidential "elections" doesn't occur). This is double bad because so much wealth, as we all know, is by ill-gotten gain – most of it frankly – the vast, vast majority. Therefore, crooks buy elections. Limiting and exposing them gives more voice to the poor – more equality in the one-person-one-vote policy. I haven't read the proposed legislation though, so I can't speak to every bit of it.
Concerning the statement that Romans 13 requires Christians to vote in coercive democracies, it's utter nonsense. Even if Paul were to have said that outright, Jesus doesn't agree. Jesus was not coercive concerning the involuntary Empire.
No part of "scripture" has been more used for evil (wars, greed, imperialism, tyranny, etc.) than Romans 13. The shift of Fundamentalists to voting is very recent in terms of the history of American elections. It really ramped up due to Jerry Falwell's so-called Moral Majority that was mixed with secularists and Jews – very anti-Christian.
Richard Cizik's civil-unions-for-homosexuals issue is about mundane, coercive democracy, not Christianity. Christians follow Jesus on marriage and divorce:
But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Mark 10:6-9 KJVR)
Cizik is right on many environmental issues, but he doesn't know what he's talking about on Christ and homosexuality.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)